Aon Hewitt Acquires CoCubes

In 2015, the State Government’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Chhattisgarh was looking to hire 30 peons at a monthly salary of `14,000. Out of the 75,000 applications received, 70,000 were received online. The applicants included qualified engineers and MBAs. This is just one of the many examples that exemplifies the clear mismatch in the talent demand and supply ecosystem in India.

Demographic Trends in India

In 2020, with a median age of just 29, over 64% of the Indian population will fall under the working population category. With the largest workforce in the world, India will be best positioned to be a global workforce provider.

However, there is a big hurdle to overcome. As of today, while India has over 12 million students graduating every year, less than 25% of them are deemed employable. There is an acute skill gap that needs to be addressed immediately. This skill deficit makes it extremely difficult for students to get jobs that match their qualification.

The entry-level hiring market presents a unique challenge for corporates with talent being scattered across 36,000 colleges in India. In order to save time and effort, corporates are forced to hire graduates from Tier 1 colleges. With a large number of employers looking to hire from the same talent pool, corporates are forced to pay high salaries without high predictability in terms of performance.

If we zoom out, majority of the Indian workforce belongs to the unorganized sector today. They work across industries and have barely any access to formal training or skill development. In fact, only 2% of the Indian population has undergone formal training.

India is making strides towards growing the manufacturing sector. As a highly labor-intensive sector, it faces a huge deficit of skilled talent. Manufacturing is only 16% of the GDP today and yet there are cases of companies procuring skilled labor from foreign countries. As the government looks at this growing sector to be 25% of the GDP by 2020, over 90 million new jobs will be created, requiring significant upskilling of the present labor force.

Role of Assessments

While solving this paradox of plenty may take a long time, there is one solution that can help reduce this mismatch substantially. Being able to measure employability is the first step towards building it. Assessments help measure employability accurately and can play a vital role at every level of the talent ecosystem, especially at the entry-level. So, what is the role of assessments across the value chain?

For Students

Educational institutes have an end goal of providing their students with an opportunity to build a career. By pro-actively conducting employability assessments for their students, institutes can identify key gap areas and create a roadmap for their development. The validity of these assessments can be judged by the fact that most institutes have reported over a 40% increase in placements post the effective implementation of diagnostic assessments. Assessments also act as a standardized employability certification that can provide students with an edge over the others at finding their first job.

For Corporates
Assessments objectively measure the abilities, skills and personal attributes that predict job performance, job fit and employee retention. Using assessments as a filter, corporates can reach out to larger talent pool and effectively filter out those considered unsuitable.

Assessments are seeing an increased adoption by corporates in the hiring process. Aon Hewitt studies Best Employer market practices every year and we have seen that while only 49% of the average market uses scientific assessments as a part of their hiring process, over 73% of Best Employers do.

Vocational Market
The Government of India has set a mandate of building a large, skilled workforce through the ‘Skill India’ mission, with a target of over 400 million people to be skilled by 2022. In this process, assessments play a vital role in the final certification of those that undertake the training. A proper assessment and certification process in this ecosystem ensures that those undertaking the program have a better opportunity at a career outside and it accelerates the process of them entering the organized workforce.

CoCubes & Aon Hewitt

Aon Hewitt is one of the leading market players in the space of behavioral assessments. Combining our existing solutions with technical and vocational assessments will help us serve the evolving needs of our clients better. Aon Hewitt decided to acquire CoCubes, a hiring assessments company specializing in employability assessments in India to help build our hiring assessments solutions.

CoCubes connects colleges, students and corporates using online assessments to create a seamless entry-level hiring ecosystem. They administer more than 2 million assessments across 200 domains at over 200 companies and 350 education institutes. In addition, CoCubes is an assessment partner on the ‘Skill India’ initiative, empanelled with over 19 Sector Skill Councils.

Together, we will be able to provide an assessment solution across every stage of the employee lifecycle, employee categories with the agility to customize the mode of delivery and subject of testing. Through our comprehensive assessment suite, corporates can now test employees and potential employees for both; skills and organizational fit to help increase predictability in performance.

Distinctive Advantages to Clients

At Aon Hewitt, we believe that everything starts with the client and our constant endeavor is to find ways to serve them better. With CoCubes, we believe we bring five distinct advantages to our clients:

  1. Comprehensive suite of assessments: Seamless access to over 275 behavioral, cognitive, technical and vocational assessments
  2. Proctoring capability: Market-leading remote proctoring solution – EYE in the SKY; last mile access in over 350 cities
  3. Assessed entry-level talent: Ready access to over 100,000 pre-assessed candidates and access to over 2,100 colleges for entry-level talent sourcing
  4. Continuous RoI improvement: Measure the impact of hiring on business outcomes and make continuous improvement to assessments
  5. Agility: New assessment design, administration and report delivery with extremely short turnaround time One of the key needs of the market today is for a seamless hiring solution that collapses the silos of sourcing and filtration. With CoCubes’ unique capabilities and Aon Hewitt’s existing expertise, we believe we are best positioned to provide that to our clients today. Through constant innovation and product development, we look forward to being the preferred assessment partner for all our clients.


Nitin Sethi
Partner and Chief Commercial Officer,
Aon Hewitt Consulting
Twitter @nitin_sethi






Pritish Gandhi
Business Integration Manager,
Aon Hewitt Consulting and CoCubes




For more information, please write to us at talentscapes@aonhewitt.com
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